Do not let the rallies turn anarchic.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vice Governor of Jakarta Ahmad Riza Patria made an earnest request to the public to refrain from anarchy while staging rallies to protest against the recent increase in subsidized fuel oil prices.

"Do not let the rallies turn anarchic," Patria stated at the Jakarta City Hall on Monday.

The vice governor called on elements of the community that will stage the rallies to anticipate the possibility of certain groups capitalizing on the rallies to serve their interests.

"Do not let certain groups get a ride in each rally," he emphasized.

Several elements of the community, including university students, are planning to stage rallies in several areas, including in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building and the State Palace to protest against the fuel oil price hike.

On the other hand, the vice governor appealed to the public to respond prudently to the fuel price hike.

He said the government has no other choice left but to adjust the fuel oil prices in response to the current global situation.

He said the Russia-Ukraine war has triggered global food and energy crises.

As a result, the government allocated subsidy budget for the energy sector that had reached over Rp500 trillion in 2022.

"Hence, there is no other alternative (left) for the central government but to raise (fuel oil prices). However, (the government) still provides direct cash assistance to the public on the grounds that the subsidy has, so far, gone to the middle to upper class groups," he stated.

The government raised the prices of fuel oil on Saturday (Sept 2).

Speaking at a press conference at the Merdeka Palace on that day, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif stated that the price of subsidized Pertalite fuel had been revised to Rp10 thousand per liter, from Rp7,650 per liter, starting 2:30 p.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB) on Saturday.

The government has also revised the price of subsidized diesel, from Rp5,150 per liter to Rp6,800 per liter. Meanwhile, the price of non-subsidized Pertamax fuel was raised, from Rp12,500 per liter to Rp14,500 per liter.

At the same press conference, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati stated that the government had resorted to increasing the fuel prices, as its spending on subsidizing the prices had continued to increase despite the recent decline in global oil prices.

She said that the government had made several calculations regarding the changes in Indonesian crude oil prices (ICP) and their impact on subsidies offered in the 2022 state budget.

Assuming an ICP of below US$90 per barrel or an average price of US$97 to US$99 per barrel throughout the year, the energy subsidy spending would still increase from the budget allocated by the government of Rp502.4 trillion to Rp653 trillion.

Even with an ICP of US$85 per barrel, the subsidy would increase, from Rp502 trillion to Rp640 trillion, she added.

"Hence, there will be an increase of around Rp137 trillion to Rp151 trillion depending on the ICP," Indrawati noted.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut SW, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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